Yoga & You: How to Stop Negative Thinking | Dr. Hansaji Yogendra

  • Negative thoughts can distract from what’s important, drain one’s energy, and cause anxiety and depression.
  • Inaccurate thoughts reinforce negative thinking.
  • Black-and-white thinking is one type of inaccurate thought, or thought distortion, that can be challenged.
  • Black and white thinking. Seeing everything as one way or another, without any in between.
  • Personalizing. Assuming you are to blame for anything that goes wrong, like thinking someone did not smile at you because you did something to upset her. (It’s more likely that person is having a hard day and her mood had nothing to do with you.)
  • Filter thinking. Choosing to see only the negative side of a situation.
  • Catastrophizing. Assuming the worst possible outcome is going to happen.

Constantly comparing ourselves to other people or comparing our lives to some ideal breeds dissatisfaction. When you are able to let go of judgment (not easy, but possible), you will likely feel more at ease. Some ways to take a break from judgmental thoughts include recognizing your own reaction, observing it, and then letting it go. Another helpful technique is to “positive judge.” When you notice you are negatively judging a person, yourself, or a situation, look for a positive quality, too.